Considering the constant advances in technology, a computer crimes attorney is sometimes necessary to respond to the evolving law of Connecticut. In general, Connecticut police and prosecutors rely on the Connecticut Computer Crime Law, which functions as a catch-all for crimes involving a person’s computer.
Since the law is so broadly written, it is easier to arrest people for computer crimes. Given the risk of arrest and the basis for prosecution, a computer crimes attorney should be consulted to provide you or a loved one with a strong defense.
Computer Crimes in Connecticut
In general, there are five ways to commit a computer crime in Connecticut including:
- Unauthorized Access to a Computer System
- Theft of Computer Services
- Interruption of Computer Services
- Misuse of Computer System Information
- Destruction of Computer Equipment
Unauthorized access to a computer system
A person can be found guilty when accessing any computer or computer system knowing the required authorization does not exist. Unauthorized access also includes stealing passwords or invading password-protected spaces on the computer. For example, a computer crimes attorney might defend one spouse who was accused of breaking into the other spouse’s e-mails account.
In Connecticut, given the broadly worded language, it is entirely possible to receive such a charge.
Theft of computer services
A person can be found guilty of theft or computer services when accessing or using a computer with the intent to obtain services or information. The most common form of this computer crime is hacking into a computer to obtain information.
Interruption of computer services
A person can be found guilty of interruption of computer crimes when intentionally infecting a computer or computer system with a virus. This crime appears as one of the more common computer crimes in Connecticut. Even though an accidental or unintentional infection with a virus can still technically be a crime, prosecutors understandably prioritize the intentional conduct, intended to be disruptive to a person’s life or livelihood.
Given the proliferation of computer viruses and the possibility of being held accountable for the financial damage caused by the virus, consultation with a computer crimes attorney is more highly recommended with this crime.
Misuse of computer system information
A person can be found guilty of misuse of computer system information when they cause an unauthorized display of data taken from a computer. A person can also be found guilty of misusing computer system information when altering, deleting, damaging, destroying, intercepting, receiving, adding or removing data intentionally without the owner's permission.
Considering how broadly worded the latter part of this crime is, particularly with regard to the inadvertent receipt of stolen data or photos, if charged with this crime, proceed with caution.
Destruction of computer equipment
A person can be found guilty of destruction of computer equipment when involved with any destruction, alteration, or damage to a computer or computer network. Again, given the broad language, this crime can ensnare many seemingly uninvolved bystanders.
Under Connecticut criminal law, computer crimes can be charged as felonies or misdemeanors, primarily depending on factors such as financial injury. However, make no mistake, depending on the situation, the charge can become very complicated, very quickly, with the process involving many possible missteps. Avoid causing additional problems, and have a computer crimes attorney handle it instead.
Call (203) 624-6115 to schedule a consultation with Knight & Cerritelli in our New Haven office.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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